Taxation of Income from Stock Market

Loading

Taxation of Income from Stock Market

 

“The stock market is designed to transfer money from the active to the patient”
– Warrant Buffet
FY 2020-2021 has witnessed highest fresh Demat accounts opening of around 1.42 Crore. This jump is more than three times the number of new accounts opened in FY 2019-20. Stock market is also at its lifetime peak. Be it a salaried person, businessman, professional or a student, almost everyone is making an investment in the share market. It is imperative to understand the tax implication on such transactions.
  1. Income from Intraday Share Trading:
    i] In intra-day trading, there is no actual delivery as the shares are bought & sold from the trading account on the same date and do not find place in the demat account at all.
    ii] As per Section 43(5) of the Income Tax Act, 1961 speculative transaction means a transaction in which a contract for the purchase or sale of any commodity (including shares) is settled otherwise than by the actual delivery/transfer of the commodity or script.
    iii] Income from intra-day trading in shares is treated as “Speculative Income” & is taxable under the head “Income from business & profession”.
    iv] Tax on profit from intra-day trading in shares has to be computed as per applicable normal tax slab of an individual. In short, no special tax rate (like 15% for STCG) is there for taxing speculative profit & the tax liability would depend on total income & applicable tax slab.
    v] If there is unabsorbed speculative business loss, then such loss can be carried forward for set off against the subsequent year’s income from speculation business only. Such loss cannot be carried forward for more than four assessment years (AY) immediately succeeding the AY for which the loss was first computed. Speculation losses can be set off only against speculation gains and not against any other head of income or non-speculation business income.
    [As per Section 70 of the IT Act, inter-source adjustment is possible in the same head of income except in respect of (a) loss from speculative business (b) loss from specified business u/s 35 AD of the IT Act, (c) Long-term capital loss, and (d) loss from activity of owning and maintaining race horses].
  2. Income from delivery based Share Trading:
    i] If shares are purchased on a particular day and sold next day or afterwards then it is not treated as ‘Speculative business’.
    ii] Income from delivery based transactions could either be categorized under the head “Income from Business” or under the head “Income from Capital Gain” depending upon various factors. The prominent factors that play an important role in determining whether it is a business asset or a capital asset are:
    (a) Volume/Nature of transactions. (b) Intention/Logic behind investments. (c) Holding period of shares (d) Investment of own funds or a borrowed fund. (e) Other business activities of the assessee. Etc.
    [Share trading would be categorized as business if there are high &  frequent transactions or if it is the main activities of the taxpayer or if trading is done with a view to earn instant profit etc. The correct categorization of share trading activity is important to arrive at the correct tax liability and to comply with the audit & other provisions].
    ii] If treated as capital gain & the sale transaction is done through stock exchange then
    (a) Long Term Capital Gain would be exempt up to Rs. 1 Lakh and amount above Rs. 1 Lakh shall be taxable @ 10% Under Section 112A;
    (b) short term capital gain would be taxable @ 15%.
    iv] If treated as business income then the entire income would be taxable like other regular income of the taxpayer and tax liability would be in accordance with the applicable tax slab.
    v] If share trading activity is considered as business then tax audit would be mandatory for individual / HUF if (a) the turnover exceeds Rs. 10 Crore or (b) if the turnover is not exceeding 2 Crore & income offered for taxation is less than 8% of turnover (6% if the receipt or payment in cash doesn’t exceed 5% of total receipt/payment) or if there is a loss.
  3. Income from Future & Options (Derivative) Transactions:
    i] Transactions in derivatives are specifically excluded from the category of “Speculative transaction” if the transaction is carried out (a) on a recognized stock exchange (b) the securities transaction tax is paid and (c) trade is supported by contract note. Profit/Loss in derivatives (futures and options) is treated as non-speculative business even though delivery is not there in such transactions.
    ii] Profit/loss from such transactions will be considered as normal business income & loss.
    iii] No special tax rate (like 15%) is applicable for taxing profit from derivatives transactions & tax rate shall be at normal rates applicable to an Individual.
    iv]Unabsorbed non-speculative business loss can be carried forward for eight years to be set off against business income of subsequent years.
    v] Applicability of Audit in case of derivative (F&O) Transactions:
    a) Taxpayers should carefully note that tax audit provision (as per section 44AB) will be applicable to the transactions in F&O also as income from derivative trading is considered as normal business income.
    b) If the turnover of an individual/HUF from derivative transactions exceeds Rs. 10 Crore, taxpayers would be required to get the accounts audited.
    c) In case turnover is not exceeding 2 cr, tax audit (u/s 44AB r/w section 44AD) will be mandatory if the net profit from such transactions is less than 6% of the turnover.
    c) Interestingly, in case of Loss from derivative trading, since profit (Loss in the present case) is less than 8% of the turnover (6% if the receipt or payment in cash doesn’t exceed 5% of total receipt/payment), Tax Audit will be applicable.
    d) The most crucial point arises with regard to the determination of the “Turnover” in the case of F & O. The total of profit and loss shall be taken as turnover i.e., aggregate of the differences, whether positive or negative is considered as “turnover”. It makes no difference whether the difference is positive or negative for computing turnover. [For example, a person has a profit of Rs. 3 Lakh & loss of Rs. 7 in F & O. Though there is a net loss of Rs. 4 Lakh in F & O Transactions, Turnover will be considered as Rs. 10 Lakh].
    e) While arriving at the taxable profit, all the expenses incurred for earning income like telephone, mobile, conveyance, depreciation on assets used for the purpose of business etc would be admissible as deduction.
    f) ITR return filing for person with F & O Income:
    Since income from F & O trading is to be treated as business income, individuals with F&O income/loss have to file a return in ITR 3 or 4, as the case may be. Filing of the return within the due date is mandatory if the taxpayer intends to carry for such loss for set off against its income in subsequent years.
Conclusions:
The tax implications vary from person to person and there is enough scope of tax planning while doing transactions in the share market. Above piece of tax provision may be of help in proper tax optimization for the taxpayers.

[Readers may forward their feedback & queries at nareshjakhotia@gmail.comOther articles & response to queries are available at www.theTAXtalk.com]
Menu